Understanding (and improving) AdWords Quality Score

Google makes PPC advertising easily accessible with an AdWords account. But a quick look around the AdWords dashboard shows that there’s more to a successful PPC advertising campaign that picking out a few keywords and waiting for results.

For advertisers, the most important thing to understand is Google’s Quality Score metrics. Maintaining a high Quality Score results in ads that receive higher placements at lower costs – and who doesn’t want that? How does that work? Google is willing to take a lower ad bid if the chances of getting a click are higher. Think about it this way: Google would rather display an ad that has an 80% of making them $1 than display an ad that has 40% of making them $2. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

The key to excelling at AdWords PPC advertising is understanding the symbiotic relationship between Google and its advertisers. You want clicks on your ad because they increase your business; Google wants clicks because they get paid for every click. So, Google wants to show ads that result in clicks and this is where the Quality Score comes into play.

What is a Quality Score?

Google assigns your advertisement a Quality Score for each targeted keyword. This score is based on three primary factors:

  • Click through Rate (CTR)
  • Ad Relevance
  • Landing Page Quality

Each of the three primary factors can be broken into sub-factors, and nobody (except Google) knows exactly how each is calculated and weighted. But an AdWords expert can help you to get the most of your ads by optimizing for a higher Quality Score.

Click Through Rate

Google wants ad clicks. It’s as simple as that. Every click on an AdWords advertisement makes them more money. So, a major factor in determining your Quality Score is the CTR of your ad. Google uses both historical data (if available) and estimated clicks to determine the CTR factor of your Quality Score.

Optimizing your ad copy for clicks should be the first step in improving your score. Remember the symbiotic relationship between advertiser and Google – more clicks are beneficial to everyone.

Ad Relevance

Clicks are good, but Google also needs to maintain its integrity as a search provider. Toward this end, they only want to show results (including advertisements) that are relevant to the searcher. Of course, relevant ads are also more likely to generate clicks so there’s also a monetary incentive to only provide highly relevant ads on the results page.

To increase your ad relevance, it is best to run multiple ad groups for each campaign. This prevents targeted too broad a keyword range with your ad copy. With multiple ad groups, you can tailor each ad to a small subset of your overall keyword.

Landing Page Quality

The final factor in determining your Quality Score is the landing page quality. This factor covers traditional website quality factors like load time as well as its relevance to the ad and targeted keywords. For Google, this factor is strictly about the searcher’s experience on their platform. There has already been a click and Google has made their money, but they still don’t want to harm their reputation by sending searchers to poor quality or spammy landing pages.

To improve your landing page quality, make sure that you’re sending users to the most relevant page possible. Many people just use their home URL for every ad, but that can hurt your Quality Score. If you don’t have a good landing page for your ad, you should consider building a custom one for your advertising campaign.

Win-Win Advertising

You want potential customers clicking on your ad. Google wants people clicking on your ad. Improving your quality score is a win for both you and Google – and so there’s no reason to skimp on doing everything in your control to optimize your advertising for success.

Increasing your quality score will generate more clicks at a lower rate. So, before you jump into AdWords, consider hiring a professional digital advertising firm that has experience in PPC campaigns. Fusion Group USA can help you to optimize your AdWords campaigns, ad groups, and ads so that you get the most out of the investment. Contact us today to see how we can help you bring in today’s digital audiences.

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